Friday, August 12, 2011

Totally Off Topic Advice Asked

I need some help.

I need an idea for a birthday gift. My nephew will be turning 15 soon. Any ideas from London or stuff?

In general, he likes golf, but he has everything golfy he needs or wants, so far as I can tell. My Mom thinks I should go to some golf course and get something, but 1) my sense is that golf courses are mostly not going to be near subway or train stops, and 2) golf interests me not at all.

He also likes to downhill ski. But no one else in his family does it (for a variety of reasons), so he mostly goes with a school club or when his Dad has a couple hours on a weekend. (They live less than an hour from a small ski place.) We went skiing together one time last winter, and I had fun, and think he did, too. (And he was wonderfully helpful getting me started skiing and stuff, since I hadn't been in ages.)

My idea is to give him a day of skiing at one of the areas not too far from his house.

But I'd love London ideas. Or other ideas.


ps. I love pseudoephedrine. I hope whoever figured it out for cold relief is making boatloads of money because it's the bestest thing ever!


  1. My son is 16. His favorite thing is quirky t-shirts. If you can find a cool t-shirt shop,that's one idea. I like the skiing idea too. Does he have any interest in history? A cool history book might work too.

  2. I think your idea of a day of skiing is *great*.

    I like the t-shirt idea Laura suggests. A lot of the museums have cool t-shirts.

    Golf courses are definitely not going to be near trains and tubes there, LOL.

    Where did you get pseudoephedrine in England? I thought it wasn't OTC there.

  3. The ski idea is an excellent one, though a day of downhill skiing by himself might get a little lonely, unless he's really into skiing just for the sake of skiing.

    You might also consider getting him some English sweets (if you felt like supplementing the skiing business) because honestly, when I think about my 15 year old self, I really enjoyed sweet things. Seriously.

    Bring back some quirky (preferrably tasty) goodies that he can't get in the States. Cheap, unique, and almost guaranteed to please. Unless he's weird.

  4. On the t-shirt line, unless he's utterly anti-soccer, or the kid he likes least is a soccer nut, a soccer jersey for an English football club is a pretty cool thing for a 15-year-old to wear. (Rugby might be even better.)

  5. Agreed with all of the above.

    Also: How about a book or similar on Scottish golfing? He has/knows everything about golf stateside, but the home of golf...

    Or, hit Stanford's (travel store near Covent Garden) and see if they have a map of famous Scottish golfing sites. They've got every other damn specialty map known to man.

  6. Laura, I LOVE t-shirts, but he tends to wear sportsy type shirts, not t-shirts (not even the ones I've gotten for him!). But maybe a museum has a good one. I'll look.

    Dr. V, Thanks. It would be something I'd enjoy, too :) You have to ask for pseudoephedrine by name, but they don't make you show ID or sign your life away, as they do in the states. It's only available from an actual pharmacist, from what I read (because I was desperate).

    J Harker, Thanks! I will definitely bring some sweets when I go back :)

    Meansomething, I think he's one of those US kids who really doesn't know soccer exists. :(

    Meg, Oh, thanks for the travel store suggestion! I'll try that!

    Thanks, all!

  7. For London related gifts you could try the Transport Museum in Covent Garden. They have lots of Underground branded gifts and you might find something appropriate.

    Alternatively if it's clothing then a brand that is very popular here is Superdry. They do T-shirts with Japanese characters and slogans. As far as I know they are not available in the US but they are popular with loads of different groups here. They are a UK brand though you wouldn't know it too look at the styling. Only problem is that they are eye-wateringly expensive - but available in lots of bold primary colours and with pseudo-sports team logos, so might fit the bill. There are outlets in various places in central London.

  8. A really good Swiss Army knife.

  9. Dame Eleanor, That's a GREAT idea! I'm emailing his Mom for permission! Thanks!

  10. Totally with you on the pseudoephedrine. I one posted on it, myself, wondering why anyone would bother using it for meth when it's so heavenly as a cold medicine.